The Steps of Loma Dos

A few months ago, I briefly posted on the good and not-so-good parts of our temporary housing situation in Gran Canaria. We still have two months to decide if we’ll keep this house in Arguineguin or move elsewhere, but I think we’re feeling pretty settled where we are. And now that our shipment from Norway has arrived, I think the chances of us actually wanting to move again are fading with each box that’s opened and unpacked.

But there is one thing about our neighborhood with which I will never, ever make peace:

Welcome to The Steps of Loma Dos.

Our neighborhood is literally named “Two Hills,” which means that the town centre is downhill no matter which way you go. We’re at the top of the hill, the town is below us. The only way to get there is to conquer The Steps.

I’m sure that any normal (i.e. “non-mother”) reader in the audience is thinking “big deal.” But to those of us that know better, you know exactly where I’m going with this…

Steps + baby + baby carriage = Deciding to stay home

Maybe I was spoiled in Oslo, but steps were rarely an issue there. If there were steps, there was also a ramp. Easy-peasy. The only time I regularly confronted a difficult set of steps was getting on and off the city trams. But even then, there was usually a polite, kind-hearted fellow passenger offering to help with the stroller. (A side-note to the punk-ass teenage boys in Grunnerlokka who failed to assist me even when asked… Shame on you! Your mother would be so embarrassed if she knew…)

But not so in our little Loma Dos. No matter where you’re located in the neighborhood, you’ve got stairs separating you from your freshly-brewed cortado in town. So Per Christian and I bump up and down the stairs on a nearly-daily basis. And with our little 10-month meatloaf packing on the kilos, it gives Mommy quite a workout.

Here’s the thing I don’t quite understand… I get passed on the stairs on a regular basis by Norwegians who don’t stop to help. I’ve never been passed by a Spanish person, male or female, without them stopping for assistance. I just don’t get it – the same fellow countrymen and women who always help a stroller-wielding Mommy at home somehow come here and develop social amnesia. It’s as if they forget all sense of being decent, respectable Norwegians as soon as they take off their shirts and stroll topless in the streets.

Shame on you! Your children and grandchildren would be so embarrassed if they knew… Come on peoples, put your clothes back on and help a Mommy in need every once in a while!

Geesh.

However, seeing as how the rest of Europe is covered in a blanket of cold snow, I suppose I shouldn’t complain too loudly. After all, once we’re actually down the steps, the view is pretty fantastic…

Casa Svendsen a la Loma Dos is quickly getting booked up for the spring and summer season! So make your reservations early – special discounts apply for polite, stroller-assisting folk.

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The myth of the Baby Jogger

Once upon a time, a woman who considered herself a runner became pregnant. She and her husband were excited in all the usual ways a newly-pregnant couple are excited (in other words, they were completely naive and clueless).

And they, like all newly-pregnant couples, began to buy things. Not a ton of things (in their minds anyway), but things that were considered “necessary.” A car seat, for example, which you cannot even leave the hospital without having installed (this was not a bus-going kind of couple). Top of the list, like all newly-pregnant couples, was The Perfect Stroller.

The runner/newly-pregnant woman was already envisioning long, leisurely jogs around Songsvann lake with her blessed child peacefully asleep in his or her jogging stroller. She researched and read reports and talked to other runners online, until finally – to the great relief of her husband and Albeebaby.com – a decision was made.

Fast forward 18 months later, and you’ll find this same woman sweating and cursing at this originally-beloved jogging stroller as they struggle up a ginormous hill in Gran Canaria. It’s not because of the stroller, which is lightweight and manageable and blah, blah, blah all things a good jogging stroller should be. It’s because jogging strollers – although brilliant in concept – are a load of BS in reality.

Here’s why:

1. You can’t use your jogging stroller for actual jogging until your baby can sit upright and hold it’s head steady. Makes sense, of course, but by that time your miniature companion is most likely a 20-pound weight in the saddle. Get the most lightweight model on the market, you’re still pushing around a pretty hefty meatloaf. It makes running on even the slightest incline very difficult.

2. By the time you can run again after the delivery of said meatloaf, you’re going to really, really miss the old days. Your body will jiggle like it never did before, and in places you never really imagined. I’m not talking about just a pair of saggy boobs, either – those can be held in place with some magnetic force fields and a good running bra. I’m talking about those nether-lands that began to drip, drip, drip… ever since you got pregnant and still haven’t stopped. Nature’s laughing at you, my post-partum friend, and the baby jogger ain’t gonna make that one bit easier to bear.

3. The best part of running, in my mind, was always to get away from it all. Not to bring it with me, for heaven’s sake! So imagine you’re finally back in your running game and finding your stride again. This is the perfect opportunity to leave the baby at home with pappa, and go out on your own. It took me four months after Per Christian was born to actually take a few minutes to myself for a run around the neighborhood (which, let’s face it, was more a walk/jog at that point). I was so happy, I honestly cried mid-stride. No joke.

So forget about finding the perfect baby jogger to take them with you on your runs – instead, force your partner to get fat and out of shape for the next nine months while you enjoy some time off (quid pro quo, my friend…).

Don’t get me wrong, I do love my jogging stroller as a stroller in general – it has a great canopy for the Canary sunshine, it reclines back when Per Christian wants to nap (ha! as if…), and it has an ample basket underneath for when mommy & pappa take their Prosecco to the park. But there isn’t a jogging stroller in the world that makes it better than going out and running on my own.

So, for the meantime, pappa gets to put on a bit of weight while mommy gets out for her runs. The way I see it, he can complain about it only after his nether-lands start dripping…